Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee, made the observation yesterday in his Twitter account as the Commission on Appointments (CA) is set to tackle Locsin’s appointment on Nov. 28.
Teodoro Locsin confirmation as DFA chief like ‘singing in shower’
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It will be “easier than singing in the shower” for Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. when he faces a panel of lawmakers next week for confirmation of his appointment.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate foreign affairs committee, made the observation yesterday in his Twitter account as the Commission on Appointments (CA) is set to tackle Locsin’s appointment on Nov. 28.

“DFA Sec. Teddyboy Locsin’s appointment is up for the Commission on Appointments’ confirmation next week. As chair of the foreign affairs committee, I think it will be easier than singing in the shower,” Lacson said in his tweet. For Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, it will likely be “smooth sailing” for the DFA chief.

“Haven’t heard of any concern about the appointment of Secretary Locsin. Hence most likely smooth sailing,” Pimentel said.

Aside from Locsin, three other Cabinet secretaries have yet to face the CA for confirmation or possible rejection of their appointment: Eduardo Año of the Interior and Local Government, Rolando Bautista of Social Welfare and Development and Sen. Gringo Honasan of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The CA is set to discuss Locsin’s appointment on Nov. 28. There is no schedule yet for confirmation proceedings for Año, Bautista and Honasan.

Prior to his appointment as DFA chief, Locsin was the Philippines’ ambassador to the United Nations.

Locsin assumed the post just as the Philippines was having an uneasy relationship with the UN over Duterte’s brutal crackdown on drug offenders.

As foreign affairs committee chairman, Lacson’s task is to schedule the public hearing on confirmation of officials by 13 senators and 12 House of Representatives members in a CA plenary session.

Locsin had also served as Makati City congressman and media practitioner.

Lacson said the CA traditionally confirms without hassle the appointments of former congressmen and senators appointed as members of the official family of the President.

Meanwhile, senators have expressed support for Honasan’s appointment by Duterte.

Honasan said he consulted Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on the President’s offer for him to accept the DICT and the two senators approved the idea.

Sen. Cynthia Villar also expressed belief Honasan is capable and competent to head the DICT, the government agency responsible for the planning, development and promotion of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) agenda in support of national development.

She said the country “in this digital age” is witnessing rampant abuse of technology, including commission of crimes like hacking.

“I think Senator Honasan is equipped to solve that,” Villar said in an interview over dwIZ.

“He is graduate of PMA and he is good in technology. He has had experience in the military and in the Senate. I think he knows what he is going to do,” she said.

While the law creating DICT provides that its head must have at least seven years experience and competence in any ICT field, Pimentel said Honasan’s experience can help him deal with the job.

He also stressed Honasan’s appointment is “a judgment call” of the President. “Who are we to question that?”

As former chairman of the Senate committee on national defense, Honasan is familiar with national security and cyber-security issues. He also said one doesn’t have to be an expert in computers to be able to fulfill his responsibility as DICT chief.

Pimentel said Honasan – as DICT chief – only needs to assemble a team of competent officials to function effectively. “He makes the final decision and defends such decision before the Cabinet and the President,” he said.

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